March 13, 2023
A champion has been declared after nine days of the $3,500 Main Event at the 2023 Wynn Millions. Michael Rossitto has climbed to the top and defeated a field of 1,314 entries to take home $604,637. Rossitto conquered a final table on Day 6 in just over 10 hours and outlasted Andrew Esposito in a heads-up duel.
Rossitto entered the final day in the middle of the pack but never really suffered any major setbacks throughout the day. As one of the strongest players remaining in the field, Rossitto got down to business and was able to walk away with the title. Both players had their hands on the chip lead at one point in a heads-up match that lasted around 2.5 hours, but it was Rossitto who got the last laugh.
It’s the largest career score for Rossitto, who said he was patient for most of the final table.
“I just waited for good hands early on until I got chips and could play more aggressively,” said in his post-win interview with PokerNews.
Rossitto will add this to his already impressive poker resume which includes over $2.1 million in career earnings.
The only hiccup on the day for the new Las Vegas resident was when he had his aces cracked during heads-up to relinquish the chip lead.
“We were still pretty deep so I got some advice from some better players to adjust my strategy and I played well,” Rossitto said. “It’s pretty good to bounce ideas off everyone and everyone had great knowledge to give. I kind of just went with my own reads and I think it well.”
As for the runner-up from Texas, Esposito also earned his largest payday of $480,752 after another solid performance since returning to the tournament scene. Esposito mentioned throughout the day that he was mostly into cash games but has since indulged in more tournaments and his track record has been stellar over the last few months. “I’m very happy with it,” Esposito said on his good run that also last over 10 hours on Day 6.
Final Table Results
|1||Michael Rossitto||United States||$604,637|
|2||Andrew Esposito||United States||$480,752|
|5||Zachary Donovan||United States||$154,279|
|6||Jacob Powers||United States||$120,361|
|8||Kharlin Sued||United States||$80,310|
|9||Cliff Ziff||United States||$67,765|
Action from the Final Day
The day began with nine players returning to the felt and if the end of Day 5 was any indication of the pace of play, the players may have been looking at a long and extended final day before the winner would be declared. However, that wasn’t the case as the action was fast and furious right from the start with a cold deck helping the situation.
Cliff Ziff came into the day with an average stack but on the second hand of the day, his pocket tens were no match for Esposito who rivered an ace with ace-king. Short-stacked Kharlin Sued lasted another orbit but Esposito’s straight flush also sent him to the rail in the early going.
Near the end of the first level, Zhigang Yang got the last of his chips in the middle with pocket nines but was looked up by a suited broadway holding from Mark Zajdner. A runner-runner flush for Zajdner sent Yang to the payout desk in seventh place and the field was quickly down to the final six.
When the players returned from their first break of the day, it was the start-of-day chip leader Zachary Donovan who was on the wrong end of a cooler when his pocket kings were up against the pocket aces of Zajdner. The board provided no change and Donovan was left on the short stack.
Jacob Powers was full of unorthodox plays throughout the final table, and today he even pulled out the straddle (blind raise). However, those lost chips eventually caught up with him and he ran out of chips in sixth place. Donovan managed to survive long enough to ladder up to fifth place but lost a flip to the big stack of Zajdner to leave just four players remaining.
Pedro Ingles was fairly quiet at the final table and patiently watched other stacks implode around him. The Spaniard finally found a spot to get his 20 big blinds into the middle with ace-jack suited but ran right into the ace-king of Rossitto. The board ran out clean and Ingles hit the rail in fourth place.
That left the final three to battle it out, with plenty of chips in play to create a dynamic that saw the chip lead bounce around feverishly. Another cooler emerged when Esposito’s aces scored him a double-up through Zajdner’s kings but the Canadian bounced right back with a triple-up on the very next hand.
Three-handed play continued past the dinner break for another two levels with the chips being passed around the table pretty evenly. However, Zajdner was never able to escape the short stack, and eventually, another cooler was dealt. In a blind vs blind matchup, Zajdner got his chips in the middle with pocket jacks against the ace-king from Rossitto. An ace on the flop left Zajdner drawing slim and he was unable to catch up, bowing out in third place.
When the heads-up match began, Rossitto was comfortably in the lead and slowly adding more chips to his stack. However, his pocket aces were cracked by Esposito who flopped two pair when all of the chips went in the middle. Esposito held on for a big double-up to sway the chip lead in his direction. After one last break, Rossitto returned to the felt on a mission and quickly climbed his way back to even.
After Rossitto started to pull ahead over the next hour, he finally laid a couple of larger blows to Esposito’s stack and it all came to a head in one final hand. Rossitto barrelled the turn with the nut-straight and Esposito went bluff-catching at the wrong time. All of the chips went in on the river and Rossitto was able to celebrate with his rail.
That concludes coverage of the 2023 Wynn Millions. Please join the PokerNews team again soon for live updates from your favorite tournaments around the world.